The Bling FC tag that hung uncomfortably around the neck of Sydney FC in the first year of the A-league has been replaced with a new moniker as new Sydney FC coach and ex-Sparta Prague boss Vitezslav Lavicka (pictured) revealed his philosophy for the upcoming A-league season.
During the press conference in Sydney today, Lavicka, who was won league titles in the Czech Republic both as player and as coach, outlined what he proposed to do with Sydney FC. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, for a Czech coach, the first word he uttered was discipline.
Sitting next to his assistant coach Michael Zach who also has experience alongside Lavicka at Sparta Prague and the Czech U-21 side, Lavicka expressed that his coaching method had three elements.
"Discipline means be professional, players, coaching staff and members of the team, respect each other, respect yourself, respect each other together and respect inner club rules," he stated.
"Second of all is motivation; it’s a very important part of my philosophy, motivation improves little by little. We need to improve every training session, every game [with] hard work during all the training sessions.
"Third one is team unity, it’s a very important part, the relationships between the players, good relationships forge good atmosphere in the club and in the team, good atmosphere makes good environment and we can make success."
The Czech coach also made sure to point out that enjoyment was an important aspect s well.
"Another important part is enjoy, enjoy your play, enjoy your work, these together will be part of the success," he continued.
Socceroos boss Pim Verbeek has made comments that have been angering coaches in the A-league since he arrived, mainly that training with a European team was better than playing in the A-League.
The somewhat rhetorical question football folk have been asking since Verbeek made those remarks is: why don’t we make the training in the A-league like Europe then?
Well the players and coaching staff at Sydney FC have a great opportunity to experience what it is to work with a coach with the right credentials from Europe, so it will be interesting to see what effect the two Czech coaches have on the Sydney FC players.
Just like 'Dancing with the Stars' the style debate is a hot topic for people with quick feet. When the question lead inevitably to style the former Czech championship winning coach gave a stock response, saying, "We like attractive football but I know very important is results, we need [to] balance playing attractive football but we need good results."
When asked if he follows a defensive style that has become synonymous with Czech football in recent times, Lavicka gave a frank response, revealing he would favour a 4-4-2 formation this season.
“No - we have to play attractive, not only defensive," he replied.
"We do it more for the people in the stands."
The first opportunity the Sydney FC players and staff had to meet the new coach and his assistant occurred in China last month and he spoke of the impression the club and the players gave him.
"It was good for us for me and Michael it was the first time we met the players and all the team staff - I have a good feeling," he said.
There was a short mention of marquee player and resident dandruff spokesperson John Aloisi, who had a tough season last year, with Lavivka nodding his head he responded,
"I know regarding John Aloisi , he had injuries many times, injuries is big problem for old players, it’s not easy to get back after injury to top level.
“I believe that John Aloisi is professional I know about his special training program before the season I hope he will be a good member of our team."
Regarding Steve Corica who has just signed on for one more year after there was speculation he may retire Lavika was clear on how important the veteran was to the team.
“Every team must have a player maker, a very clever player who can direct the play, this is Steve Corica.
In my opinion is very important, I know his age I want to his role to be always important," he stated.
Last season Sydney FC’s youth team won the inaugural A-league youth championship and there are five players who won first team contracts for the upcoming season.Both Lavicka and his assistant Michael Zach had a stint coaching the Czech National under 21 side during the 07/08 season.Regarding the youth situation at Sydney, Lavicka seemed optimisitic, adding,
"I have good experience working with young players I know that the youth team has many good player good future for the team
"I know the Sydney FC youth team last year was champions, I know that many young players can be integrated to the professional team together with the experienced players, step by step little by little it will be a success."
Can Sydney Win the League?
'We hope' was the answer the new Sydney FC Boss gave and so do the Cove and the rest of the Sydney fans.
Last season Sydney fans had the displeasure of watching other A-league team participate in the finals for the first time as the club failed to make the top four.
Gold Coast United have already said they have ambitions to win the League and remain undefeated in the first season.Upon hearing what Gold Coast had targeted for next season Lavika said, "It’s motivation for us."
Message to the Fans
And finally rounding out the press conference Lavika had this message for the fans, asserting,
"Football is our job, but football is played for the spectators, for the fans, so I want to wish many more fans to come."
While Gold Coast and North Queensland have been making all the headlines in the off season, and perhaps all the attention will be on the new boys. Sydney FC will be looking to make up for last season's disappointing performance on and off the field.
Opponents should beware the wounded animal.